The Luxury Transportation Talent Conundrum Gets Worse

Jim Luff
Posted on July 11, 2018
Every so often I come across a chauffeur. However, it’s mostly drivers who can’t find their vehicle in an airport parking lot or don’t offer to help with my luggage. (LCT file image)
Every so often I come across a chauffeur. However, it’s mostly drivers who can’t find their vehicle in an airport parking lot or don’t offer to help with my luggage. (LCT file image)

As my travels take me around the country using chauffeured car services, I have been given a new window from which to view the industry. I wish I could say it was a pretty view. Instead, I see the same issues state to state, city to city.

While operators face many challenges, the most prevalent is the shortage of qualified and capable talent.

Limo Operators Share Common Hiring Concerns

I hear it in conversations with operators. I see it in their hiring choices. I hear more owners are being forced to jump in vehicles and serve as chauffeurs because they simply have no one to put in the driver’s seat. In some aspects, this is good. Driving a client always reminded me of what is most important. On the other hand, it takes the operator away from recruiting, marketing, and of course, managing the company.

There doesn’t seem to be any clear answer to the problem. Our unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in 18 years. So, perhaps everyone has a job? I assure you that isn’t the problem with finding “qualified talent” in the industry. The biggest problem is a social shift where the younger generations can’t seem to understand the importance of personalized luxury service. It seems to be a lost art combined with a lost desire of people to work hard for cash tips.

To be quite blunt, too many operators are being forced to settle on workers willing to take the job instead of picking the cream of the crop from applicants. If you have two openings and three people apply, it really limits the available talent. I’m sure some operators would be horrified if I picked up the phone and called them to report what their drivers had done or not done.

Shortage Shows Difference Between Chauffeurs And Drivers

Yes, I said driver instead of the old-school description of chauffeur. Every so often, I come across a chauffeur. However, it’s mostly drivers who can’t find their vehicle in an airport parking lot or don’t offer to help with my luggage. I can’t tell you how many times a driver has dropped me off at the wrong airport door and given me bad directions. Why? Because they have probably never actually been inside the airport.

While I understand good talent is hard to find, I implore you to reinstate secret mystery riders. You could even offer one of your regular clients a free ride for their opinion of a new chauffeur. They get a bonus and you get honest feedback from someone who should know your expectations. Don’t turn a blind eye. Make sure your chauffeurs properly represent your company.

Related Topics: chauffeur behavior, customer service, driver behavior, economic outlook, employee issues, employee recruitment, hiring, hiring chauffeurs, Jim Luff, operations, staff management

Jim Luff Contributing Editor
Comments ( 2 )
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  • Anthony

     | about 4 days ago

    The industry has various types of limousine companies.. It would help the readers to understand the article if we knew the state and the rate of the service the year of the vehicle and the miles of the vehicle. In los angeles you have the various types of operstors: corporate executive, corporate, limousine service, shuttle Each operate in different ways and their rates can tell you what type of service your using. I have said time and time again for all operators that want to grow, quality pay= quality service= repeat customers= company growth 60% of your business comes from that statement... We operate a corporate executive service, we run the company based in new vehicles, corp chauffeurs, clean vehicles, synergy tires, etc

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